Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Inspired by the Stanford Prison Experiment, this psychological drama focuses on twenty paid recruits who are divided into groups "prisoners" and "guards" and are let loose in a controlled prison-like environment.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. 80
    En route, we also get a chance to examine the nature of the self and the responsibilities of science. Das Experiment has all this and more, excitingly packaged as a prison movie featuring superb performances and high emotional tension.
  2. Reviewed by: Jonathan Curiel
    Disturbing film.
  3. 75
    One of those all-too-rare cases in which a riveting premise is expertly executed.
  4. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    A solid slice of entertainment without reaching the psychological depths promised by the subject matter.
  5. Reviewed by: Janice Page
    This cacophonous ending may serve to reinforce the filmmakers' cynical themes, but it leaves viewers trying desperately to remember the part of the film that had brains, wit, and so much promise.
  6. 60
    It's empty calories trying to trumpet its bogus nutritional value, and the strain for social importance undermines the picture.
  7. Too much of a mess to say anything with assurance, pieced together as it is from mismatched institutional movies such as "Cool Hand Luke" and "Shock Corridor" -- with "Lord of the Flies" thrown in for good measure -- and turning on plot points that simply don't wash.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jan 23, 2014
    This film was intense. It was based off the Stanford Prison Experiment, but if I remember correctly, nobody really died at the end of it,This film was intense. It was based off the Stanford Prison Experiment, but if I remember correctly, nobody really died at the end of it, though someone did get removed early, and some of the psychologists actually tried to stop the experiment earlier than 6 days. Great performance by everyone in the cast. But I'm not a big fan of the story, since it seemed a bit melodramatic; the phrase "that escalated quickly" really describes this film. I wish they'd actually stuck to the facts instead of aiming for the disgust factor. They made the psychologists look like real genuine gullible idiots in this film; first, they let an ex-convict in (they obviously did not do any background checks), second, they let a potentially psychopathic guy in, third, they took their participants at their word (people lie, it's a fact). Expand

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